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US Economy Adds 235,000 Jobs in August, Much Lower Than Previous Months

Jobs report chart

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate dropped by 20 basis points to 5.2 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. The economy added much fewer jobs in August compared to July, which was revised up by 110,000 to a total of a little over 1 million jobs. Nonfarm employment has increased by 17 million jobs since April of last year, but is still 5.3 million below the total workforce in February 2020, the last month before the COVID-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization.

There were notable job gains in several sectors in August: 74,000 jobs were added in professional and business services, 19,000 in architectural and engineering services and 10,000 in computer systems design and related services. Despite gains in professional and business services employment, jobs in the sector have declined by 468,000 compared to February 2020. The transportation and warehousing sector also added 53,000 jobs last month, which brings the industry’s employment 22,000 jobs above its pre-pandemic level in February 2020.

With the back-to-school season starting back up in August, there were mixed signals for the growth of the education industry. There was a gain of 40,000 jobs in private education, but a decrease of 21,000 jobs in state government education and little change in local government education. The education sector’s employment levels are still not what they were in February 2020 as there are 159,000 fewer jobs in private education, 186,000 fewer jobs in state education and 220,000 fewer jobs in local government education.

Jobs in the leisure and hospitality sectors were unchanged, despite a gain of an average of 350,000 jobs per month for the past six months. The job gains last month in entertainment, arts and recreation was severely offset by a decrease in food services and drinking places, which declined by 42,000 jobs. Since February 2020, leisure and hospitality employment has decreased by 10 percent of its workforce, or 1.7 million.

Content Partners
‣ Bohler
‣ Lee & Associates
‣ Lument
‣ NAI Global
‣ Walker & Dunlop

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